Federal or state-imposed standards have both good and bad sides but using test-scores to evaluate teacher-performance (the final phase of objectifying and subjugating our schools to the 1%’s needs for a complacent population) is totally a bad idea.  Although President Obama cautioned teachers, in his 2012 State-of-the-Union speech, to “not teach to the standards”, we all know that that is exactly what RttT is forcing them to adopt as a survival tactic.  Non standardized education, that encourages and engages children’s natural curiosity about the world around them (rather than training them to demonstrate ability to memorize rules and thought patterns spelled out by these Standards), will have to await another revolution for all but the children who are home-schooled by well-educated parents.   However, while it may be entirely too late in the game to be opposing use of the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) to steer our k-12 education system,  development of some organized resistance to a full scale implementation of a test-score based teacher evaluation system (which would eventually eliminate dedicated and enthusiastic teachers) may not be totally beyond the realm of possibilities.

If a school or all schools in a district already have a peer-based evaluation system that they believe in, they are less likely to give in to its replacement by a standard test-score based system.  It will be interesting to see what States will do in such cases.  Certainly, the two systems can exist side-by-side or even serve  to complement each other.   It is also not beyond the pale to think that the implementation of the test-score based systems (because they are so noxious) might stimulate schools to invest more energy into developing or refining peer-review based systems as a means of making some sense out of the test-score data.

Schools that sit by, traumatized and overwhelmed by other responsibilities, will be buried in confusing statistics but any who have alternate evaluation systems (based on professionalism and recognized evaluation procedures) will, at least, have a fighting chance to be allowed to stand alongside and be used to moderate the student-test based systems that are being finalized.
If school teachers and administrators can’t accept this challenge of investing in more humane and information-generating systems, the fight to maintain energy and commitment of our teachers will be pretty much over.   Transformation to a total standards-based system will be a further disincentive for teachers to learn from each other and maintain a collegial environment.  I am anxiously waiting to hear about schools who have accepted the challenge.

Advertisements